Women in Leadership Profiles

From Ukraine to US: Anna Predleus Thrives at AGI

Success was the only option for Anna Predleus. Having moved to the US from Ukraine at the age of six, she knew that hard work was essential to getting a stellar education and launching a promising career. A graduate of Cornell and London Business School, Anna now works as an engagement manager at The Alexander Group (AGI) for primarily life sciences and tech clients. She also recently took on the role of talent leader for AGI’s New York office – a role that complements her desire to help other women also thrive professionally. 

Current Role: Executing Client Work While Constantly Learning

AGI’s website describes the organization as “leading revenue growth management consultants.” Your resume highlights many examples of how you have helped companies to create efficiencies and synergies, to reduce expenses, and to integrate sales and operations functions.  In simple terms, what is the overall mission of your work? 

As an engagement manager, I focus on executing client work. I don’t have a specific industry focus now, I have experience in tech and life sciences primarily, but eventually I will specialize when I start to focus on relationship management and selling work.

What’s kept me here is constant learning: about different industries, leadership styles, and traveling to new destinations. 

What are examples of your daily tasks? 

No day is the same. It depends on where you are with a project. For example, when you start a project, you do a ton of discovery, interview stakeholders on the client side, and look at financial and performance data. We have a lot of conference calls with clients and internal calls to collaborate with AGI team members. I recently took on another role as talent leader of the New York office. The goal is to ensure team members are progressing and getting the right experiences and exposure across the work they are doing.  

What attracted you to consulting?  

I didn’t know any consultants growing up or what a consulting job would entail, but through the interview process, I realized it required analytical skills. What’s kept me here is constant learning: about different industries, leadership styles, and traveling to new destinations. 

I would not be where I am without great mentors and teachers.  

What characteristics does someone need to be successful in a role like yours? 

Intellectual curiosity, hard work, and the ability to work in the abstract because there is no right or wrong answer. You have to think through challenges and go with your gut to decide the best alternative. You can learn hard skills – for example, data analytics – but you also need to have tenacity because this is not a 9-to-5 job. Sometimes you work super long hours.  

What is your favorite part of your job?   

I like developing talent and mentoring junior team members. I would not be where I am without great mentors and teachers.  

What is most challenging? 

Managing time, prioritizing effectively and knowing when you need to shift focus and put something down. You need to have a balance of work and personal life and know how to push back diplomatically and effectively.  

Early Years: From Ukraine to Brighton Beach 

 Where did you grow up?  

I was born in Ukraine, and my family moved to the US for better economic and educational opportunities when I was six. I spent most of my childhood in a Russian/Ukrainian Jewish neighborhood in Brighton Beach.  

I knew that nothing would be handed to me. I had to succeed, given the sacrifices my family made. 

Is there anyone in your life who particularly influenced your educational or career path?  

My mom was a huge motivator. She uprooted her life for me to have educational opportunities. Growing up in a traditional Eastern European immigrant background, there was a huge emphasis on academic success. I knew that nothing would be handed to me. I had to succeed, given the sacrifices my family made.  

 Did you ever dream about a different career? 

I wanted to be a lawyer and help people, a career path the movies glamorized.   

 What was your very first job (where you had a W2)? What did you learn from it? 

I was a retail associate at a clothing store. I learned a ton about responsibility, customer service, and work ethic.  

 Career Path: Raising a Hand for New Challenges  

I’ve always been one to raise my hand and take on a new challenge.

Looking back on your career, has there been a pivotal moment or decision that took your career in a new direction that you wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to do if you hadn’t said “yes?”

That happened recently when I took on the parallel talent leader role, which complements my desire to help people develop their careers. It has helped me understand the inner workings of a consulting company. Because we are selling intellectual capital, we have to ensure the right talent to serve clients. We also focus on initiatives like developing a diverse leadership team.  

Is there anything you would do differently on your career journey? What do you think young professionals can learn from your path so far? 

I’ve always been one to raise my hand and take on a new challenge. In my generation, there is more desire to hop around to different companies and roles, but I think staying at the same organization offers a lot of exposure and opportunity.  

Education: Openness to Diverse Backgrounds 

Tell me about your undergraduate studies at Cornell University in Industrial Labor Relations. How does that field complement your business career?  

It was a great foundational education, with a balance between humanities and economics classes. I wouldn’t say it is an exact correlation to my work now. You don’t need a specific background to get into consulting, and sometimes having a less common background can be beneficial. At Cornell, I also got exposure to people from backgrounds different than my own. 

Why did you decide to get an MBA at London Business School (LBS)? How has it benefited you? 

Pursuing an advanced degree was always a goal of mine, and I was the first person in my family to go to graduate school. LBS is known for its diverse population – I think they have students from 90 countries. That comes to life when you are there. I was exposed to different cultures, leadership styles, and ways of doing things, which broadens your perspectives. It helped me not be stringent in my thinking and be open-minded. At AGI, we work with global clients, and having knowledge of different cultural practices is important.  

Final Thoughts: Advice for Women and Personal Pursuits 

 What advice do you have a for a young woman just starting out in her career in business? 

It’s important to find mentors who inspire you and to advocate for yourself, especially early in your career. Signal that you are open to opportunities and get help and advice early on because it pays in the long run.  

What is it about Forté’s mission that makes you want to support our efforts?  

Primarily, what resonated with me are Forté’s efforts to empower women, build a community, and increase the number of women leaders. Forté is helping to drive change from the bottom up. When I started at AGI, I didn’t see a lot of women leaders, but that is changing.  

Is there anything on your “bucket list” you’d be willing to share?  

I have some “bucket list” destinations – Thailand is next! 

How do you spend your time when you are not working?
I live in New York City, and my partner and I like to try new restaurants and experience everything the city has to offer. We are also adding a new canine family member soon. 

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